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2 Gujarat Ration Shop Owners Held for Aadhaar Fraud

2 fair price shop owners arrested for pilfering foodgrains using stolen Aadhaar and ration numbers.
The Gujarat Police on Friday arrested two owners of government-funded ration shops, or “fair price shops”, in Surat for allegedly committing fraud using stolen biometric data to pilfer subsidised foodgrain.

They reportedly bought a software for ₹15,000 which contained a list of stolen Aadhaar numbers, ration card numbers, and thumb impressions.

The accused, Babubhai Boriwal (53) and Sampatlal Shah (61), were arrested on Friday and taken into police custody for five days.

"The state government had in April 2016 launched the Annapurna Yojana under the National Food Security Act-2013,” said Crime Branch Inspector BN Dave. “Fair price shops, renamed as Pandit Deendayal Grahak Bhandar, were computerised so that subsidised food items reached the actual beneficiaries."

He said that under the scheme, shop owners were, through an application called E-FPS, given access to biometric data bank of the beneficiaries to “create an electronic record of beneficiaries availing subsidised grains from their shops.”

According to Inspector Dave, to gain access to the data, the accused used a duplicate version of the software, the source of which is yet unknown.

Boriwal and Shah have reportedly been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including section 406, 409 (criminal breach of trust), 467, 468, 471 (forgery), as well as sections of the Information Technology Act and the Essential Commodities Act.

The police are investigating into the source of the duplicate software as well as the biometric data.
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